Cross

THE CROSSES OF MOUNT RUBIDOUX


One story no longer in circulation, because it is so preposterous, in that Father Serra was "passing through" the Riverside area and converted some Indians. He carried a large wooden cross and implanted it on the mountain top. Later settlers found this old cross in decayed condition and replaced it. Was Miller the source for this yarn? The Indians were too "dumb" to know anything about the "rain cross," but Miller did!
The original Mt. Rubidoux cross was made from tree logs stained brown, which fitted into the mountain decor beautifully. It was fine for many years, but then some visitors, with a pocketknife, gouged out pieces for souvenirs. This was discouraged by wrapping the lower part of the cross in hardware cloth. Later vandals tried to set fire to it.
For reasons not known to me, the Junior Chamber of Commerce decided to intervene. They had a hollow core cement cross constructed over a wire form. It was flown up the mountain top and into position by a helicopter on March 3, 1963. The wooden cross was oriented to face the audience at the Easter Sunrise Service. The Junior Chamber shifted the orientation so that it was more conspicuous from Mission Boulevard. Perhaps this was better advertising.
I keep praying an earthquake will knock the monstrosity down and be replaced by an "old rugged cross" of wood, which blended in and not standing out like a sore thumb. I have no doubt I have Miller's blessing in this matter. The original wooden cross is to be found in the atrium in front of the St. Francis Chapel of the Mission Inn.

Excerpt taken from A MEMORIAL TO MT. RUBIDOUX
written by William T. Drysdale